Finally, a different setting! That’s what I thought when starting this episode. Sam & Max Episode 4: Abe Lincoln Must Die places our animal detective duo on the lawn of the White House. Apparently, the president, who looks and talks suspiciously like our current president, has been acting a bit weird lately. How else can you explain his gun registration bill? Taking a cue from the overarching plot present in the previous chapters, Sam and Max need to find some way to knock some sense into Mr. President.
I can’t help but feel annoyed by the audio in this episode. The presidential lawn music is too short, so the looping of it over and over again was my main impetus to proceed to the next section. As usual, Max’s voice is grating, but it’s even more so because he never really contributes anything to the conversation. I went through the whole episode skipping past most of his dialog. I think he’s just there so that Sam doesn’t have to talk to himself, but the writers were trying too hard to make Max’s lines silly and just ended up making them annoyingly useless.
I’m happy to say that the puzzles in this episode are a bit harder than the previous episode I played. The first puzzle in particular, how to get into the White House, actually took some thought and I felt pretty clever after getting into the White House. Without giving too much away, Max’s presidential debate with Abe Lincoln has been my favorite part to play through in this episode because it goes beyond trying to figure out what object is supposed to be used on what (or whom).
It’s good that the game builds on previous episodes. Abe Lincoln Must Die can do well as a standalone episode, but it’s nice to see previous characters make cameos. So far, this has been my favorite episode and the little mini-twist in the plot caught me by surprise.
While it’s possible, I wouldn’t recommend starting the game with this episode, since the plot twist will be lost to people who haven’t played through at least the second episode with Myra in it.
Like the previous episodes, I feel the puzzles would be more enjoyable if there weren’t so many back and forth fetch quests that require traveling from one location to the next. The load times aren’t atrocious, but if they were made shorter, it would make the whole game more enjoyable.